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BlackBerry Gets Crime-Fighting App

BIO-key's PocketCop 3.5 sends and receives silent dispatches and turns the smartphone into a thin client.

Terry Sweeney

March 13, 2008

1 Min Read

Along with service revolver, bulletproof vest, and dispatch radio, law enforcement officials can now add BlackBerry devices to their crime-fighting repertoire, thanks to a new mobile application.

BIO-key International released PocketCop 3.5 earlier this week. The software lets mobile law officers identify a wanted person or stolen property directly from a BlackBerry smartphone. BIO-key added integration with computer-aided dispatch systems for sending status updates silently and securely. The feature is scanner-proof, which is critical in surveillance and undercover operations, BIO-key said in a statement.

PocketCop 3.5 also takes advantage of BlackBerry's built-in browser and its "over-the-air" deployment capabilities to turn the smartphone into a thin client on demand. Automatic software updates ensure that any enhancements get installed quickly and easily, according to the vendor. An individual BlackBerry must be running device software versions 4.1 through 4.3 in order to use PocketCop 3.5.

The St. Paul Police Department in Minnesota piloted the new version of PocketCop, according to BIO-key. "It exceeded every expectation we had. CAD integration allows smartphone users much of the same functionality our officers currently enjoy from laptops," said Glen Pettit, lead IT analyst for the department, also in a statement.

The software is available only to law enforcement agencies and sworn officers of the law. For new customers, a starter pack of software for five clients and one server, National Crime Information Center access, and installation costs $5,000. For existing customers, pricing is volume dependent, the vendor said. Client software will run $349 to $649; server software ranges from $194 to $500.

About the Author(s)

Terry Sweeney

Contributing Editor

Terry Sweeney is a Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered technology, networking, and security for more than 20 years. He was part of the team that started Dark Reading and has been a contributor to The Washington Post, Crain's New York Business, Red Herring, Network World, InformationWeek and Mobile Sports Report.

In addition to information security, Sweeney has written extensively about cloud computing, wireless technologies, storage networking, and analytics. After watching successive waves of technological advancement, he still prefers to chronicle the actual application of these breakthroughs by businesses and public sector organizations.

Sweeney is also the founder and chief jarhead of Paragon Jams, which specializes in small-batch jams and preserves for adults.

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